I don't want to remember my life before mermaids
I was raised by saltwater queens
Blessed with magical beings of mythic proportions.
Daughters of Yemaya and gumbo
Those who reminded me of the beautiful resilience that lives within us
Goddesses who maintain the grace of a gazelle even with the changing tides.
Mes Sireines , My Mermaid queens
flowing, crashing, rising
My Mertopia founded in unfiltered joy and black girl magic. A land where power is found within and not by intimidation. A place where black bodies are loved and appreciated not demonized or sexualized. Where unconditional love is currency and joy literally recharges us. A society where the only economics we talk about are cooperative. Our national anthem is Golden by Jill Scott. Declaring our divinity and having opportunities to express that. Justice is restorative, equitable, and locally sourced.
My grandma Genevieve
Cayenne pepper royalty
Soft yet steady as a metronome in the kitchen
With a laugh that could brighten any dim room
Unafraid of what is to come because her certainty is founded in love for herself and her family
Learning something new with each choice
Her setbacks created the beginning of her greatest comebacks
Flowing through the roughest currents and remaining strong.
flowing, crashing, rising
After I came back from studying and living in France, I moved back to the area where I was born and went to college. Monterey California held many. Returning as completely different person in the same body. I went into a deep depression as silent as my feet walking in sand. My emotions hit me in crashing waves, uncontrollable tides larger than my 5’10 frame. Things I couldn't ever explain. The tears I cried that were never understood . The anxiety that ate away my ambition and self worth. At the time I couldn't explain the rise of my emotional tide . After a lifetime of being told I was being over dramatic or theatrical, I didn't know where to go. I felt so lost, unseen, unheard, completely invisible and misunderstood . I distinctly remember when the suicidal thoughts entered my brain. December 2015. The ones that said it wouldn’t matter if I was gone, no one would care. These thoughts caused me to isolate as much as possible. To think I was better off handling things on my own. The most agonizing silence, the shame I hide inside.
Dreaming of a nation that honors artists, teachers, and farmers like doctors, lawyers, or engineers. Angela Davis is prime minister . Fully aware of our privilege and responsibility to look out for each other . Honoring the scars of our ancestors, healing generational scars. Twerking for Mother Earth and planting seeds of resilience.
Calming like rosemary and gentle as gardenias
Earth warrior who taught me to respect and protect the earth
To value all forms of life
Holding space for her softness and ours
Concocting potions that transformed the flu into a slight sniffle
Or choosing the perfect bedtime story to read
She grew in the midst of adversity.
Never allowing fear to stop her pursuit
Crashing against every judgment or expectation with determination
flowing, crashing, rising
Home taught me the power of flowing, crashing, and rising.
I learned to laugh past trauma, rise above pain, and silence anything that wasn't a smile. While being inspired to be courageous and unapologetically me, I was taught to wipe away the tears and ignore the triggers. Trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, words that were more foreign than toukechoses dans ma vie. I didn't feel comfortable talking about mental health until it was was almost too late .
Support systems that honors self exploration and discovery through art. Holding space for the complexities of our shared histories. They taught and constantly teach me to stop making assumptions and judgements. Ask more clarifying questions. Silence all of my self doubt, to not hold space for it. Magical beings full of love and light like me are also battling their own demons. . Ignite your curiosity instead of fear. Trapped in our own minds, our parent’s expectations, or the world idea of who we should be. We don’t talk about mental illness and wellness. We learn to put on masks. We have to destigmatize the conversation around mental health. We need to learn to embrace every aspect who we are, the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable.
Even in the midst of me isolating and not responding to text messages my friend Essence was always inviting me over for game nights or to hang out over delicious baked goods. I always felt like she just got me, whatever it was she understood. She was that friend that saw me in all of the beauty and power I was too blinded by self doubt to see. Her laugh would bring light to the dark cave I’d put myself in. I never felt worthy enough to be there but always so grateful.
My aquatic angels on this earth and in my heart
Sisterfriends who keep me sane when I thought all I ever could be was crazy.
Cousins who always remind me that I could do anything I set my mind to.
Mentors who inspire me to love every aspect of myself,
even the parts I don’t always like.
Sisters that challenge me to seek softness in times of pain and trauma
To look at myself in a mirror untarnished by self loathing
Beings of love, light and strength
In awe as the mermaids in my life navigated unchartered waters
I watched my warriors effortlessly learn to breathe underwater while I was drowning
flowing, crashing, rising.
An oasis of self care and self worth founded in the gospel of queer black visionaries and leaders. Authenticity and Empathy as common as seashells and ocean air. Being who we are and loving every part ourselves. Concepts of love rooted in the writing of Dr. Maya Angelou . The only laws are of attraction and manifestation.
When my mentor Marci suddenly passed away and I felt like giving up, Esse was always there checking in on me. I didn't want to burden her with the truth of my pain . Constantly encouraging me and congratulating me on things she “knew” I could do. I was never as certain as she was. I never said anything to her but she's the reason I'm alive today. I was drowning in self loathing and she was my lighthouse. I hold her joy and light in every sunrise.
Mes Sireines show me that it takes a great amount of courage to be vulnerable.
That vulnerability is loving with your heart wide open
Guided by our gut feelings and our star signs
Ruled by our hearts and minds
flowing, crashing, rising
We share our joy but hide our pain. We shame it. It is not shameful. We think we are burdens when we are blessings. Sharing who we are with each other is all we can do. We are human and imperfect. I found myself in people that saw me when I couldn’t see myself. Stop feeding each other sugar coated bullshit about how you're fine when you're dying inside. Laugh and cry more. Stop running from your emotions and give them space to be processed. Our mental wellbeing matters. It really does. Remember you are seen, you are heard, you are SO loved. As beings on this dying planet I’m calling everyone to hold space for community, love, and acceptance. Leave the judgement at the door. Bring your whole self into everything you do. And stop apologizing for being who you were always meant to be. In order to love yourself you have to stop hating the experiences that shaped you. Let’s live our lives full of joy and recognize when we have wounds that need to heal. Challenge yourself to ask for help when you need it, share your story, and love with all of your heart.
Rêveurs, croyants, amants et guerriers
Dreamers, believers, lovers, and warriors.
Rising above black holes of doubt, insecurities, and fear
flowing ,crashing, rising
Alie Jones is a self-care advocate, body acceptance educator, and Creole mermaid. She is the founder of Bodacious Bombshells, a wellness collective based in Oakland. Her work on Black Mental Health and self-care has been featured on Afropunk, XoNecole, and Medium.com